Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trip to Puerto Plata: Cable Car to Isabel Del Torres and Tour of Brugal Rum Factory

Last week we ventured outside of Luperon and went to Puerto Plata for some sightseeing and shopping. On the advice of several people, we booked Nino to drive us in his Camry the short 30 mile distance. We had several options for getting there: guagua (bus), rent a car, rent a motorcycle, or get a motoconcho (motorcycle taxi), but it was much easier with Nino since he knows his way around the city and could translate things for us if needed.
We headed out in the morning and our first stop was the Brugal rum factory. There was a quick introduction by the tour guide and then he led us into the factory, where the tour lasted all of two minutes. We watched bottles go whizzing by on the conveyor belt and went back outside. Not much of a tour in my opinion, but hey we got free shots of rum before we left so I’m not complaining.

After that, we went to Isabel del Torres. It wasn’t a normal car ride to the top of a mountain however. The government built a cable car system that transports people up 2,555 feet to the top, where there is a Christ the Redeemer statue, botanical garden, restaurant, and souvenir shops. We waited a few minutes for the car to fill up and then we were on our way, gliding over the lush green tree tops. The first thing you notice when you step out of the car is the nice cool, breezy air and spectacular views of the city, surrounding mountains, and the ocean. After spending six months at sea level, it felt surreal being up that high with clouds floating by just out of reach. We snapped a few photos, walked down a short path to a small cave, and then headed back down the mountain. If we weren’t starving, we would have stayed a little longer to walk around the entire park, but our stomachs won out.




We told Nino that we wanted to eat at a restaurant that served Dominican food since we still hadn’t eaten any since arriving two weeks ago so he took us to a buffet-type place. I had beef stew, rice with veggies, and yuca, which is kind of like a potato. Everything was delicious, except the fried yuca patty. It was prepared with anise, which I’m not a fan of.
We stopped at a few places trying to find some marine parts and an external hard drive and then hit up the first Wal-mart type grocery store we’ve been to since leaving the States. Of course all of the packaging is in Spanish so it took us a little longer to shop than normal, but we figured out what most things were just by looking at it. 

Puerto Plata is the biggest city closest to Luperon so I’m sure we’ll be back there several of times before we depart.

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